Blue-eyed dogs are hard to find yet pleasing. We usually see breeds like Siberian Huskies or Dachshunds with unique blue eyes. However, is it normal for a breed like Beagles to have blue eyes?
The answer depends on a variety of factors. If your Beagle is purebred, it will most likely not possess the genes for blue eyes in its system. Even so, a rare genetic variation may result in the beagle ending up with blue eyes.
There are a few more factors to consider that may affect the eye color of your dog. Let us have a look at them below:
Reasons For Blue Eyes in Beagle
1. Mixed Breeds
When two dogs of different breeds are crossbred, the offspring is likely to possess traits of both breeds. Thus, if your beagle is a mixed breed with a blue-eyed parent, it might end up carrying those genes.
Even if your beagle is purebred, there may be a chance of its ancestry having a mixed breed. Some of the common breeds that are likely to have blue eyes are Huskies, Border Collies, Dachshunds, Dalmatians, and a few more.
So, if your Beagle has a history with any of these breeds, it is likely to have blue eyes.
2. Genetic Mutation/Variation
A genetic mutation simply means development or an alteration in the DNA of a species. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a major change. Sometimes, even a minor alteration may be the cause of your Beagle’s blue eyes.
The level of such alterations differs for every creature. It again may trace back to the ancestry of your dog. The genes passed on from the older generations can cause such mutations.
In short, the reason for your beagle’s blue eyes is the result of a scientific DNA change.
Albinism in dogs is a rare condition to find. It generally causes a lack of pigmentation in the skin, eyes, hair, and even blood.
If your beagle has blue eyes or pinkish eye-area, take the precaution and check in with the vet to ensure if your dog is albino.
Dogs with albinism usually require extra care. Symptoms of albinism may include:
- Pink nose
- Blue/bluish eyes
- Pinkish skin around the eyes
- Deformed/small eyes
Albino dogs are more prone to health issues. Thus, if your beagle has blue eyes and shows any signs of weakness or other health issues, look for an expert’s opinion.
4. Merle Gene
The Merle gene is kind of a genetic mutation in dogs. This gene affects a dog’s coat and can result in creating spots or light-pigmented shades on its coat. Similarly, the merle gene may also be responsible for dogs to have blue eye color.
Dogs with the merle gene are also prone to health issues. Therefore, take all the necessary precautions when required.
5. Young Puppies
Almost all Beagle puppies are usually born with blue eyes. This is because of the lack of melanin in their irises. Eventually, it starts to develop when they grow up. You can notice the change in their eye color slowly.
This usually happens with almost all the puppies. It’s a common factor in making their eyes appear bluish or clear.
6. Eye Disease
The above-given reasons explain why your Beagle may have blue eyes. However, having blue eyes can sometimes be a symptom of eye disease.
Glaucoma or perinatal glaucoma is one such example. Perinatal glaucoma is an eye condition present in your dog at birth. Due to this, your dog may be born with completely blue eyes. Other symptoms include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Cloudy eyes
- Redness in the eyes
- Dilated pupils
- Enlargement of the eyeball
Other eye diseases which may cause your dog’s eyes to appear blue include nuclear sclerosis and interstitial keratitis.
Nuclear sclerosis is usually harmless and occurs as the dog ages. However, it may result in your dog developing a cataract. So, it is always advisable to get it diagnosed by the vet.
On the other hand, interstitial keratitis causes inflammation in the cells of the cornea. It creates a film over the dog’s eye, which appears to be bluish.
In short, if your Beagle has blue eyes, it may be a sign of a disease. Consult a veterinarian immediately.
7. White Fur around the eyes
If the fur around your Beagle’s eyes is white, it indicates the lack of pigmentation in its eyes. Such cases, though rare, can cause the Beagle’s eyes to appear light blue or bluish.
This situation does not require you to worry as it’s a part of their genetics. This discoloration might subside over the due course of time.
Q- Is it bad for dogs to have blue eyes?
A- There are multiple reasons why your dog has blue-colored eyes. It is not always a reason to worry since most of the time, it happens due to genetic traits and variations. However, if there are more symptoms along with blue eyes, such as irritation in the eyes, or sensitivity to light, you must consult the vet.
Other than that, chances are that your dog is albino. If that is the case, take extra care of your dog and keep its health in check.
Q- Do puppies with blue eyes stay blue?
A- Puppies are born with blue eyes due to the lack of melanin pigment. It develops over time when the puppy grows up. Once they grow up, they are likely to have brown or hazel-colored eyes. However, if a puppy’s parents have blue eyes, chances are that its eyes will stay blue even after growing up.
There are several reasons why your beagle may have blue-colored eyes. From genetic history to eye diseases, you see how intricate a dog’s health system can be. Even if there is no reason to worry about your beagle’s blue eyes, there is no harm in getting regular check-ups.
Your dog may not be able to express it, but if you have a dog, you should stay attentive to all kinds of changes. We hope this article helped in answering your question. Do share it with your friends and acquaintances with similar problems!
Dr. Aram Baker has been with Santa Clarita Animal Hospital since 1995 and his special interests include behaviour medicine and dermatology. He graduated from the Cleveland Humanities Magnet Program in Reseda, CA and attended California State University at Northridge where he received a Bachelor’s degree in biology. He went on to pursue his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis. He also spent time in the zoological medicine department at U.C. Davis during his Junior and Senior years. He is dedicated to caring for all pets big or small, young or old with compassion, patience, kindness, and love.